Help me pick a tripod

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by vwkid45, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. vwkid45

    vwkid45 TPF Noob!

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    I am fairly new to photography and decided that it is time to get a tripod. I went to my local shop and they recomended the Quantaray QSX 8500. He said for the money it is a good tripod. I am looking to spend between $50-$70. Any suggestions?! Thanks
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Buy an old '70s aluminium tripod from eBay perhaps? Spend $15 and get the same kind of robust quality and sturdyness that you get on a modern $200 tripod... just a thought - they're heavy though.

    The one you've mentioned looks a bit flimsy and light, but that might be all you need - we don't all want to drag round a 30lb tripod everywhere!

    Rob
     
  4. abaddon07

    abaddon07 TPF Noob!

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    I completely agree with this. I just got a Bogen/Manfrotto (3001BD instead of 3021 BN but very similar). It is WELL worth the money. I even look forward to setting up my camera now it is such a joy to use.

    The ballhead really is a must if you want to maintain your sanity. The only issue with this is that you may need a bubble level for your hotshoe in order to get your shots straight. However, you can just eye things up initially and then fix later in photoshop if need be.

    Just wanted to add my own experience to this excellent recommendation.
     
  5. vwkid45

    vwkid45 TPF Noob!

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    hey thanks guys, i will look into that.
     
  6. nymtber

    nymtber TPF Noob!

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    id reccomend the bogen as well, my mom and brother both split the cost of one for me 5 years ago, it is a VERY sturdy tripod. only thing i want now is head to extend horizontally for macro shooting...
     
  7. vwkid45

    vwkid45 TPF Noob!

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  8. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Like what Rob said, go to e-bay and get an old Tilt-all aluminum tripod.
    I use my father's that I inherited all the time. Works like a charm.
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As far as cheap tripods go that (the 8500) is a good one. It has a very solid head (not plastic) wich is important. I have a similar one that I use for backpacking the only diffrence is my legs work with levers instead of the dials on this model mine is also a Quantaray/sunpack (I work part time at ritz) and it about as cheap as you would want to go on a tripod. I have been through a few Quantaray tripods an d most have broke when I tried to properly tighten them (my camera a Nikon N-70 at the time not a heavy camera). Consider yourself lucky I paid about $100 for it at the time. I would not rely on a ball head for any of my equipment but that's just a personal opinion so take it or leave it. This is just a backup tripod for me my main is a Bogen 3021BN very heavy and very reliable the head (bought seperately) probably weighs as much as the tripod.
     
  10. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    I have the same legs, but a different head (not really into the ball heads).
    I have this head. Upgrading to this one one of these days...

    It's much more stable than the other tripods I've used. I'm not yet willing to spend more than $500 on a tripod, so this the best set-up for me at the moment. The legs/head combo was just under $200.
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My head is almost identical I have the 3047 it supports (well... used to support) with no problem at all a bronica ETRSI a Metz 60ct1 flash and a large stroboframe bracket alot of weight with no budging
     
  12. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    The key things to look for in a tripod IMHO are:

    1-Weight capacity. The problem with all of the inexpensive pods is they are very weight limited. Get something you can grow into. To me anthing with a capacity of less than 4 KG (8.8 lbs) is a false savings. If you get serious about the hobby that's enough capacity to hold a digicam and an 80-200 2.8 or a medium format camera. That weight capacity will still give you a fairly light carry weight.

    2-Interchangeable heads, for obvious reasons.

    3-How high does the go without raising the center column. All the stability on Earth evaporates quickly when you start raising the center column. I have no hard empirical data but I would guess that camera shake is multiplied by at least a factor of 2 when the center post is fully extended.

    4-How short will it collapse. I find this to be as important if not more imprtant than weight because it affects mobility on remote locations. The farther under 30" you get the better.

    5-What does it weigh. I think people fixate on this too much. When I go in the woods with my backpack, 80-200mm, 300mm, 28-105mm, 16mm, camera body, and various widgets I'm probably at 30 lbs +/- already. Yes a 2 lb pod would be nice but it's very weight limited. A 6 lb pod won't make much real diffence to me, or aven a 10 lb pod for that matter.

    My $0.02. YMMV.

    LWW
     

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